The President v Zuma

5th July 2023

The President v Zuma

President Cyril Ramaphosa & Former President Jacob Zuma

The main question that arises for determination in this application is whether an accused person may only challenge a prosecutor’s title to prosecute by way of a plea in terms of s106(1)(h) of the Criminal Procedure Act (“CPA”).1

As judgments relied on by the parties demonstrate, the question is not novel. Accused persons have frequently mounted frontal challenges to their prosecution for various reasons. Some have done so in the Criminal Court where they are charged while others have deviated from the Criminal Court and approached the Civil Court for a civil remedy. The latter is the procedure the applicant, the President of the Republic of South Africa (the President”), in these proceedings resorted to.

This Court ought to determine whether such resort is competent on the present facts and under the prevailing circumstances. The President contends that it is. The first respondent, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma (“Mr Zuma”) contends that it is not.